If you practice meditation regularly, it’s safe to say you recognize its benefits. It’s probably also safe to say that you wish you’d started your conscious inner journey sooner, say when you were a kid. And if you have kids, you might be wondering how on earth you could get your child to focus enough to begin them on their own meditation path, that is without stunting their beautiful and valuable outward exploration instinct.
Checkout this great Buzzle post from Rujuta Borkar on effective ways in which to teach your child how to meditate. According to Borkar, it’s crazy to think that a child will understand the benefits of meditation at such an early age. That said, by practicing meditation with your child and choosing age appropriate meditation techniques, when the time comes for your child to understand the value of the practice, he or she will already be ahead of the game.
This is the simplest technique that you can start out with. Take the child on a walk in nature. Choose something that has a trail and is interesting. Being out in nature amidst the natural surroundings is in itself a very relaxing feeling, but to heighten and enhance that feeling, ask the child to concentrate on his breathing. Ask him to breathe evenly and concentrate on his breathing style. It should go with breathing in and breathing out either 1 or 2 breaths. To channelize the breathing, ask them to swing their arms with an alternate arm and leg movement (right arm-left leg and vice versa). This is a simple exercise which will not only help them relax, but also allow them to enjoy the calming effects of nature.
Sit with your child on the floor and maintain an erect position. Instruct the child to breathe in and out using very deep breaths. Tell him to inhale all the way from the stomach and not just the chest region, such that when he takes a breath in, the stomach should expand. Once he inhales, ask him to hold the breath for 2-3 seconds and release. Exhale very slowly and feel the air leave the stomach, then the chest and finally through the nostrils. When the child concentrates on his breathing, it will automatically prevent him from thinking of any other thing and improve concentration as well. Start out with 5 minutes, then slowly increase the time.
Read more on age appropriate meditation techniques for children here.